Flames place 7 more players, 3 coaches and 7 staff members in COVID-19 protocol
Nearly the entire Calgary Flames roster is now in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol after the team announced an additional 17 entries have been added to the growing list.
On Wednesday morning, the team confirmed that an additional seven players, three coaches and seven support staff members have entered the league's protocol.
The new additions include:
- Rasmus Andersson;
- Byron Froese;
- Johnny Gaudreau;
- Erik Gudbranson;
- Trevor Lewis;
- Jacob Markstrom;
- Tyler Pitlick;
- Head coach Darryl Sutter;
- Associate coach Kirk Muller; and,
- Assistant coach Ryan Huska.
As of Wednesday, a total of 16 Flames' players, three coaches and eight support staff members were in the protocol.
The team has closed its training facility and the league has postponed four of the team's games, including road games in Chicago and Nashville that were scheduled for earlier this week Thursday night's home tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Saturday's home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"The Flames organization has followed, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, provincial and federal agencies."
Button says he doesn't think the Flames should be back on the ice for a while.
"I'll tell you what I would recommend," Button said.
"You've got the Christmas break coming up. Let's try to eradicate the virus in respect to the Flames and their exposure to get people healthy, and let's look at post Christmas break for the Flames to comeback. You know that gives you more time, not less."
"The decision was made following consultation by the NHL’s, the NHLPA’s and the club’s medical groups," read a statement from the Flames.
The NHL also confirmed on Wednesday the presence of the Omicron variant and is recommending all players get a booster shot if eligible.
It also informed teams on Wednesday there will be increased protocols until Jan. 7, 2022.
They include restrictions on indoor dining while on the road, masking, social distancing while in club facilities and daily testing except on days off.
Button says the league has done a pretty good job so far.
"The NHL has every reason for concern, but again they're on top of it," he said.
"They're monitoring it and this situation can change not just day by day but hour by hour, and I think we're all cognizant of that."
The league continues to monitor the situation and will postpone additional games if deemed necessary.
More information is expected to be released next week.